Fishing lures.

Wayne Carrigan, Chatfield MN

Carol Young, Shoreview MN

Handcrafted jewelry.

Ann Matthews, Houston MN

Handcrafted cement pots and stepping stones.

Several years ago, I acquired a roll of baling wire at an auction and I began creating wire sculptures.  My wire sculptures are one of a kind, three-dimensional drawings, simplifications of the intricate designs inspired by nature.  They are an abstraction that's just realistic enough to delight our memories of scenes from our own observations.

I often use discarded wire and found materials that I recycle or "up-cycle" into a sculpture.  Many sculptures are mounted on interesting pieces of rustic wood.  The sculptures are not painted, so solvents are not used in this process.  The sculptures are very lightweight.

Crooked Pine Farm was established in 2011.  We are a little farm located in southeastern Minnesota where farmland meets rolling valley and bluffs.  We raise a small herd of French Alpine dairy goats that supply us with fresh milk for our handmade soap.  Ever since I was a teenager, I have always wanted to learn how to make handmade soap the traditional way.  I then had the opportunity to become fast friends with a special woman who gave me a "beginners" recipe for cold process soap and from there on I began experimenting and sharing the results with family and friends.  Thus, Crooked Pine Soap was born.  Here at Crooked Pine Soap, we believe you have the right to quality, handmade soap done the traditional, artisan way.  We use our fresh goat milk, organic oils of coconut, sunflower, shea butter, non-gmo canola, olive, rice bran and castor oil in our original recipe, as well as formulating specialty recipes with other oils and natural butters.  We also use sodium hydroxide, which is used during the saponification process to turn the oils into soap and none remains in the finished product.  All real soap is made with saponified oils.  The only additives we use are true and real, such as raw honey, oatmeal, clays, herbs, cornmeal, coffee grounds, pumpkin puree, etc.  The passion we have for our farm, homesteading ways and respect for the land around us is shown in each and every bar that we offer.

Crooked Pine Soap, Lewiston, MN

I like to experiment with new techniques so there is not always an answer to why I do what I do.  I'm inspired by always wanting to learn something I haven't done before.  "Found" surfaces are an inspiration, and challenge me to explore new avenues of expression. 

Paintings evolve slowly, through layers of paint and glaze.  Scraping away with a palette knife adds texture and movement.  Building layers of color with a palette knife and brush, using techniques that allow the paint to have an uncontrolled life of its own.

I'm inspired by reclaimed objects...canvas, old books, wood and metal.  They come with a personality and I add to that with my art and create my own style.

Art by Pat Smith, Everett WA

Faith Ann Originals, Milwaukee WI

The Artists

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Water Color & photo art.

Custom sewing, fiber art and glass mosaics.

Heidi Dybing, Lanesboro MN

Beth George, Houston, MN

Handcrafted, original cards for all occasions.

Joan Johnson, Howard Lake MN

When my husband's job took us out of state for a year I became a SAHM with time on my hands and no where for my creative juices to flow.  So I became an interior designer.  I'd always enjoyed cleaning, organizing, recycling and upcycling my own things and in the early 2000's other people were happy to pay for that service.  The market for interior redesigners went a little bonkers around 2006-2008, one of the casualities of the housing market.  Right about then I inherited a box of beads.  I started making jewelry.  I sold a little at local craft fairs and made items for family.  The it seemed everyone was making jewelry.  Sales slowed way down.  Now I have all these beads and I'm not making jewelry.  My mom, an excellent quilter with a basement full of fabric, said one day, "You could embellish my quilts and table-runners with some beads."  Ah ha!!

Karen Lideen, Rochester MN

Bud Bullivant, Milaca MN

The process begins in my garden...

With my grandmother's rolling pin and fine white clay, I create a lasting impression of my favorite leaves and garden blossoms.  I use those slabs of wet clay to construct both decorative and functional pieces by hand in my small studio or at the old picnic table under the old ginkgo tree in my Milwaukee backyard.

Following a lengthy drying process, I "watercolor glaze" each piece between multiple ceramic firings.  The result of this 6 to 8 week process is a limited number of quietly elegant pieces.

A Wisconsin water color artist and potter for over 20 years, I've married a lifelong fondness for wildflowers & local perennials with my intricately detail "ceramic canvases" and signature watercolor-glazing techniques.

I make each piece as if it is a gift for my mother.  I love what I do, aim to please, and always appreciate your patronage!

Treasures on the Trail